The gut (our digestive system) is often referred to as our ‘second brain’. It is lined with healthy bacteria which is important for many bodily functions – especially for our brain and mental health. This ‘good’ bacteria can be depleted by foods we eat, toxins, and other things we may put in our body. If you experience bouts of sadness, mood swings, memory loss, chronic depression, or other mental health issues, repairing your gut can make a majorly positive difference. This can be done by taking a probiotic. Any fermented foods and beverages are a strong source. One yummy beverage, particularly high in probiotics is Kombucha. It is a fermented tea that is inexpensive, delicious, and easy to make at home! Keep reading to learn how!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 3.5 quarts water
- 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup if using natural sugar like sugar cane or Stevia)
- 8 tea bags (black and/or green), or 2 tbsp loose tea
- 2 cups starter tea from last batch or store bought Kombucha (unpasteurized, neutral flavour)
- 1 SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast)
(Optional flavouring to be added after tea ferments. You can use fresh fruit, not from concentrate juice, ginger root, cinnamon stick, anise, or whatever your taste buds desire.)
- Large pot (to boil the 3.5 quarts water)
- 1 gallon glass jar (available at Bulk Barn)
- Dish towel and coffee filter (or anything to cover jar while tea ferments)
- Bottles for fermented tea/fruit.
- Make tea base. Bring 3.5 quarts of water to a boil. Remove from heat, add sugar. Once dissolved, add tea bags. Allow to steep until tea is cooled (cooling may take a few hours).
- Add starter tea. Once tea is cooled, remove bags or strain loose tea. Stir in starter kit (2 cups previously made/bought Kombucha).
- Transfer to 1-gallon jar, add SCOBY. The SCOBY may rest on top or sink to bottom – both are okay. Cover the mouth of the jar with dish towel/coffee filter, etc. Make sure entire jar is covered by the towel. You may want to secure with an elastic, especially during fly season.
- Ferment 7-10 days. 7-8 days seems best for optimal taste. Keep jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get jostled.
- Remove the SCOBY. Before preparing to bottle Kombucha, prepare and cool another pot of tea (Remember – 3.5 quarts, 8 tea bags). You will see that another SCOBY has formed and it attached to the old, original one. The new one will be on top and is the one used for the new batch. You can compost the old SCOBY, or give to a friend to start their own Kombucha kit.
- Bottle finished Kombucha. Measure out and separate 2 cups needed to start your new batch. The remaining Kombucha is strained and added to your glass bottles. Add your chosen flavouring (fruit, ginger root, etc.) to bottle before pouring in Kombucha. Leave 1/2 inch of head room in each bottle then screw on cover tightly. Store bottled Kombucha at room temperature, out of direct sunlight for 1-2 days to allow carbonation to occur.
- Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and consume your delicious Kombucha within a month. Drink daily, and as much as you like – but remember it is caffeinated.
- Make fresh batch. Clean the jar being used for Kombucha fermentation. Combine the 2 cup starter tea from last batch with fresh bottle of sugary tea. Stir well together in the 1-gallon jar. Slide SCOBY on top…and the process begins again!
*CONTACT A CARING LIGHT OR A FRIEND WHO MAKES KOMBUCHA FOR YOUR STARTER TEA & SCOBY. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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